The winter is a dreaded time for any driver, but it’s especially so for those with cars that lack proper winter tires. Snow and ice are hazardous conditions that can result in an unsafe and unpleasant drive—constant sliding, hydroplaning, and loss of control are all possible. Fortunately, with the right winter tires, with every needed traction and safety, you can keep your drive on schedule and ensure a safe journey. However, finding a proper, well-balanced combination of traction, safety, and handling can be difficult, especially when you’re faced with a seemingly endless variety of tire options. Not to mention, today’s degrading economy never favours any expensive changes.
To assist you in your tire-shopping endeavours, we’ve compiled a list of four vital points to keep in mind when choosing your winter tires along with tips on how to finance these crucial upgrades like how to get a fast cash loan. Hopefully, these will help you make a better-informed decision and enjoy peace of mind on your winter drives. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!
1) Tread Pattern
Traction is one of your biggest considerations when looking for winter tires. For example, while you may think that four-season tires will work just as well as dedicated winter tires, they don’t provide enough traction and stability to really do their job. You’re also likely to get poor performance on ice and snow with a four-season tire; drivers commonly end up slipping and sliding on these slick conditions.
Therefore, if you want a truly safe, secure ride during snowy months, a winter tire is what you need—and it doesn’t hurt that these tires look pretty badass too! Look out for tread patterns, and make sure to discuss with your mechanic what they prefer or recommend. There are many different types of tread patterns available; some provide maximum traction, while others focus on control and steering precision—it’s up to you to decide which works best for your needs.
2) Siping Depth
Another aspect of winter tires you must consider is their siping depth. Simply put, sipes are tiny cuts or notches that you’ll see on a tire’s tread pattern. Their purpose is to provide extra traction and stability during icy conditions by allowing water, snow, and slush buildup between them. The deeper these sipes are cut into a tire’s tread, the more surface area they create for grip.
So, when it comes time to buy your winter tires, be sure to give some attention to their siping depth! It might seem like only a slight difference, but it can make all the difference in performance—not to mention your safety—during those cold winter months.
3) Void Ratio
Now, we know what you’re thinking—void ratio is just a fancy term for something else, right? It’s true; void ratio refers to a tire’s relative lack of voids between its tread blocks and sidewalls. Simply put, these voids are pockets of air (or other gasses) that aren’t filled with any rubber. A high-quality winter tire will have very few of these, as they can negatively affect performance on slick surfaces. So, before you purchase your new tires, consider their void ratio!
Finally, you should definitely focus on your tire’s shoulder when shopping around. You see, a tire’s shoulder refers to its outside edges (the part that touches the road); it can differ from tire-to-tire and plays an important role in steering and handling. For example, tires with hard shoulders will give you more traction while also providing greater stability; these tires also tend to be ideal for cars without electronic steering aids as they allow more room for wheel error. In contrast, softer tires provide greater steering control at low speeds but less stability at high speeds—and vice versa for hard shoulders.
As you can see, there are many aspects of winter tires that drivers need to consider before purchasing them. Now, we understand that winter tires aren’t cheap, and they’re not always necessary; they won’t necessarily make you a better driver either! But if your safety is a concern—and it should be—it’s better to have these tires and not need them than need them and not have them.
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